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Free Content A mutation in the cAMP signaling pathway affects sexual development of Dictyostelium discoideum

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Amoebae of cellular slime molds have two developmental modes, asexual fruiting body formation and sexual macrocyst formation. How developmental choice is made is an interesting subject of wide importance. Light exposure and dry conditions are favorable for asexual development, while conditions of darkness and high humidity are so for sexual development. In Dictyostelium discoideum, the latter conditions enhance zygote formation, which determines the fate of surrounding cells for sexual development. Here, a mutant (TMC1) defective in the post-fusion aggregation of cells during sexual development is described. This mutant is also aggregationless in asexual development, and the level of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) receptor is reduced. Correspondingly, a series of existing mutants with defects in cAMP signaling pathways showed the same sexual phenotype as TMC1. These results suggest that molecular mechanisms of development are shared by the two alternative developmental modes.
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Keywords: Dictyostelium discoideum; cAMP; cell aggregation; chemotaxis; sexual development

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305, Japan.

Publication date: 1997-04-01

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